Liberal Riding Association presidents are meeting tomorrow and an item on their agenda is a motion to move up the leadership convention and allow all Liberals (rather than just delegates) to vote.
I have written posts in support of this idea before, and got a really negative reaction from some Liberals who think it will be unconstitutional, making the new leader open to a court challenge. The unresolvable problem, they think, is that the constitution states that the executive can't override a decision by the body, and the body voted down "one member one vote" at the last convention.
I am always impatient with the "it's impossible" argument. Lots of impossible things turn out to have a solution, but you can't find the solution if you don't try.
Assuming a solution is found and the vote is moved up, I have a concern about timing. It's not that an early leadership vote favors Ignatieff. I think that's fair: I support Rae, but we have to move up the vote, and if that favors Ignatieff then I'll accept it. The situation is just too dire to postpone it if we can find a way to move it up. Whoever is ahead at that time reaps the rewards.
No, my concern about timing is that there seems to be a great deal of confusion over what just happened, and we need to at least get the facts straight. A Globe article recently quoted a Rae staffer as saying that Dion didn't let anyone outside his circle participate in coalition decisions and they weren't happy with the decisions. Is that true? The popular belief these days is that Rae is Mr. Coalition and that the potential failure of the coalition should be seen as his fault. I see it quite a bit differently: that he was the one willing to stand up for the party, and that after the coalition had been announced it was craven of Ignatieff to hang back out of personal ambition. But much hasn't been disclosed yet. We need a lot more information about what went on.